8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: 9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’
Jesus’ second message in Revelation 2-3 is a word of comfort to the church in Smyrna. This local body of believers was suffering intense persecution, pain, and heartache. It is commonly believed among Bible scholars that Christians in this city were being persecuted awfully for their faith in Christ. Some were being beaten, others were being thrust into poverty, and some were even dying for their beliefs. Jesus wanted them to know that He saw them and that He would be with them.
The Savior gives this church one command—be faithful to the death. The church at Smyrna was instructed to continue in faithfulness to Christ. A crown of life was promised to those who refused to give up and give in to the trouble.
Jesus teaches us that trouble will be a part of this life. (John 14:27) Nevertheless, Christians remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word and the promises of His Word. The way may be difficult but the abiding presence of the Savior will always comfort and keeps us. Christian, be faithful until the end!